Under normal operation, a hard drive is unlikely to be heard over the whir or fans in a typical computer. As watercooling and other silent cooling techniques become more popular the trusty hard drive can become the greatest noise contributor in a system. My two 120gb Western Digital SE drives are the noisiest component in an otherwise near silent system. The odd part is that I have yet to do anything about this.
When a video card fails, it is merely replaced. If a hard drive fails it could take with it part of someone's life that cannot simply be replaced. The question that begs to be asked then is why we spend so much time agonizing over our processor temperature while leaving our hard drives to fend for themselves. Heat and time are never a good mix when talking about any computer component.
SunBeam Company is trying to master both with their new Hard Disk Driver Silencer. This device is designed to reduce the rattles that may be caused by the rotational force of high rpm drives as well as moving the drive to a roomier 5 ¼ drive bay. An 80mm fan can also be attached to the bottom to provide active cooling.
It comes packaged in a simple blue box that provides an ample description
of what the product does and avoids the silly exaggerations
that most companies market themselves with.
The HDD silencer is made out of a surprisingly thick piece of steel that is thicker than any case metal that I have ever seen. I was quite unable to bend it by hand.
The package also contains a complement of pads and screws for attaching the silencer to the case. Unfortunately SunBeam only ships the product with the bare minimum needed. I am a firm believer that there should always be a spare part included in any package. If the user requires 8 screws to attach the product then there should be 9 screws included.
The basis of the silencing effect is hinged on separating the hard drive from the rest of the case using spacers. This, in theory, will prevent the high speed disk from carrying vibrations over into the case. These tiny vibrations can cause a dull rumble to emanate from the case during operation.